Beginners Mind

Beginners mind – It’s good to be a beginner.

Zen mind – beginners mind. When you start something, you are full of ideas. There is surprise. Meditation is about unlearning. Be again like a very small child, discovering the world.

beginners mind


“Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.” This statement by Suzuki Roshi is often quoted. Suzuki Roshi was a Zen Buddhist. But this idea is helpful for every meditation, whether you are a Buddhist, a Hindu or a Christian.

When you start something, you don’t know what to do. You are unexperienced, but also open and unbiased. You try something, fall down, stand up and fall again. There is so much to discover, so much surprise, but also obstacles. This is Zengeist. Such a person is careful, open for learning, removes obstacles.

Quite different the experienced. He knows how it works. He acts directly, purposefully, does not look right or left. He does exactly what leads to the goal. He has tried and experienced so much. He doesn’t have to think about.

What does it tell for meditation?

Meditation is more about unlearning, but about learning. Mind does not follow conventions any more. It no longer does, what it has always done.

That dosn’t mean you should walk around in swimsuit or bouncing like a frog.

It is about the conventions of the mind.

It is about seeing the world fresh, new, like a stunned, very young child. As if you see the world for the first time.

This makes the mind spacious. You gets an idea, what meditation really is.

Christians know a similar idea from the Bible.

In Matthaeus verse 5 it is said:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“

And in Matthaeus verse 18 it is said:

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.“

If you don’t become like very ordinary uneducated people or like little children, you will not enter heaven. You need a pure and open heart. In this state there is no past and no future. Children are in this very moment. They act, without thinking about. There are no pattern to be followed.

Again, than doesn’t mean, you should do stupid things. You should be carefull, mindful. But in meditation, you forget all you know and everything you have learned.




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